Do I Have to Get a Lift?

I want my breast to look fuller and more proportionate to my body. I would like to avoid getting a lift.

Doctor Answers 11

Do you HAVE to get a breast lift, or do you NEED one?

You do not have to have a breast lift, but I would recommend one for you.  An implant will not lift the breast, so your nipples would still be pointing downward over your new larger breasts.  And don't let anyone tell you that using a larger implant over the muscle will help you avoid a lift, either--that's just not true (and it's something women are commonly told!).

The good news is that you may only need a circular scar around your areola--you might be able to avoid a vertical scar.

Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

A breast lift is up to you, but if you want the best shape you need one

Your breasts point down and your nipples are low.  A breast lift is the only thing that will correct these issues and improve your shape.  Fullness comes from an implant.  If you go with an implant alone or put one above the muscle trying to get a lift without doing a lift, you will be disappointed in the final shape as the breast will be falling off the bottom of the implant or you will have a ball in sock look.  Scars will usually fade well from a lift but shape improvement can't come from any other operation.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 67 reviews

Do I Have to Get a Breast Lift?

Unfortunately, you will not end up with an aesthetically pleasing results if you undergo breast augmentation surgery only.

If you were to undergo breast augmentation surgery only  I think that 2 types of “results” would be predictable:

1. You will end up with “big and low” breasts and unhappy with the aesthetic outcome etc.

2. You will end up with the breast implants sitting high on your chest wall with the breast tissue lower down,  again creating an aesthetically unpleasant outcome. You will find that you will continue to have breast skin sitting on top of upper abdominal wall skin, unless you lift the breasts.

For some patients the necessity of additional scars is a “dealbreaker” ; for these patients it is better to avoid breast surgery altogether.
 On the other hand, many patients (If properly selected and who are doing the operations at the right time of their lives  psychosocially) accept the scars associated with breast augmentation/breast lifting surgery as long as they are happy with the improvement in contour, size, and symmetry. This acceptance of the scars is the essential “trade-off” associated with many of the procedures we do in the field of plastic surgery.

  Patients who are considering breast augmentation/lifting surgery should understand that this combination surgery is significantly more complex than either one of the procedures done separately. In other words, the combination breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery differs from breast augmentation surgery alone in that it carries increased risk compared to either breast augmentation or mastopexy surgery performed separately. Furthermore, the potential need for revisionary surgery is increased with breast augmentation / mastopexy surgery done at the same time.  This revisionary rate may be as high (or higher) than 20%.  

 Personally, I find that the breast augmentation/lifting procedure to be one of the most challenging  of the breast operations I perform, even compared to somewhat complex revisionary breast surgery. On the one hand,  when performing breast augmentation/lifting surgery we are increasing the breast  size with breast implants;  on the other hand, we are reducing the breast “envelope” in order to achieve the breast lift. These two “forces” must be balanced as perfectly as possible in order to achieve the desired results.

 I hope this, and the attached link, helps.

Tom J. Pousti, MD, FACS
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1,486 reviews

Is a breast lift necessary

I concur with my colleagues.  A breast lift is not mandatory, but you will likely get better returns with a lift procedure.   If you are concerned with the scar, a periareolar lift simultaneously done with breast augmentation will minimize the scars (hiding the scar along the areolar border).  

C. Bob Basu, MD, FACS
Houston Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 209 reviews

Depends on what your definition of 'fuller and more proportionate' is

To get a fuller and more proportionate look, breast augmentation would be required. Based on your photos a breast lift would be strongly recommended as well, but not required.

If you just want to look fuller/larger/more proportionate in clothes, then you do not need a lift. However, in the nude, your breasts will look unusual. Why? You have breast ptosis (drooping), and your nipple position is lower than the breast fold. When an implant is placed, it sits at the level of the fold. This means that the breast implant will be sitting in a higher position, while the rest of the (drooping) breast hangs off of the implant. This is not an aesthetically pleasing breast appearance.

Bottom line: to look 'fuller and more proportionate', all you need is a breast implant if your main concern is how you look in clothing. If you also want to look good in the nude, go for the mastopexy as well. Good luck.

Best regards,

Lawrence Tong MD FACS FRCSC

Lawrence Tong, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 44 reviews

When you need a lift, you need a lift.

Based on your photo- you need a breast lift. An implant is not going to solve your cosmetic issue. If you want the best possible cosmetic result, a mastopexy is what you need.

Scott C. Sattler, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 65 reviews

Do I HAVE to get a Breast Lift to have perkier Breasts or will Large Breast Implants Do?

Regarding: "Do I Have to Get a Lift?   I want my breast to look fuller and more proportionate to my body. I would like to avoid getting a lift."

No one "NEEDS" or must "HAVE" Cosmetic Surgery. Unlike, Neurosurgery or Orthopedic Surgery and much of General Surgery, Plastic Surgery is "I WANT" NOT "I NEED" Surgery.

The question, of course, is : "For the best possible results, SHOULD I have a Breast Lift or can I just get by and large breast implants?".

The breasts sag when there is much more skin than inside breast tissue filling the skin envelope AND when the ligaments anchoring the breasts to the chest (Suspensory ligaments of Cooper) are stretched. Breast implants could temporarily correct only the most minor breast sagging. Moderate or serious breast sagging can ONLY be corrected by removal of the sagging skin along the lower part of the breasts. Attempts to remove skin around the nipple complex (Periareolar lift, Benelli Lift etc) flatten the breast, result in a stretched out, sun-burst scar around the nipple complex while putting in large breast implants postpone the inevitable.

For BEST results, a Breast Lift procedure would be the best solution. Read more about these procedures. You may be a candidate for a Short Scar Breast Lift such as the Hall-Findlay Breast Lift.

Dr. Peter Aldea

Peter A. Aldea, MD
Memphis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 108 reviews

Mastopexy (lift) options

Most women shudder at the thought of getting a lift.  While implants of various sizes will provide a small degree of lift (a few centimeters), implants alone are unlikely to provide the aesthetic ideal.  You may be a candidate for a circumareolar lift.  This procedure confines the scar to the outer circumference of the areola.  In the post operative period, you may notice bunching of skin around the areola, but, over the long term, the scarring is less than that of other lifts.  This option is suitable for women with mild to moderate breast droopiness.  Most women come in the office in the hopes of receiving implants and not a lift.  While you will likely be able to find a physician to perform implants alone, you will unlikely be happy with the long term result.

Jason Hess, MD
San Diego Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

Breast Lift is likely the best option

Breast augmentation alone is unlikely to give you the look you are seeking. In my opinion you would benefit from a lift. Discuss these options with a board certified surgeon.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 81 reviews

Do I need a breast lift?

Based on your breasts from the pictures you have provided, I would recommend a lift.  Most Board Certified Plastic Surgeons would agree.  The position of your nipples is important and your nipples are pointed down which would indicate that you need a lift with implants to also add the volume your're looking to achieve. If you choose the right surgeon you can have an excellent result with very subtle incision sites. You have a nice complexion and should heal very easily.  Good Luck!

Miguel Delgado, MD
San Francisco Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 75 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.